Jack L. Finley, who campaigned grade I winner Lite Light, died Sept. 4 in Paradise Valley, Ariz. He was 83.
Finley raised and raced Quarter Horses before focusing a good deal of attention on Thoroughbreds. Lite Light, the best of his 10 stakes winners, was a three-time stakes winner for him. Lite Light won the Oak Leaf (gr. II) and Sorrento (gr. III) Stakes as a 2-year-old in 1990 and took the Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) the winter of 1991 before being sold for a reported $1 million. Lite Light concluded her racing career for rap star Hammer's Oaktown Stable and reached millionaire status.
Finley raced such other popular Southern California stakes winners as Dancing Femme, Miss L Attack, Raja's Delight, Red, and Sheesham. Dancing Femme won eight races in 1977, four of which were turf stakes, including the Ramona Handicap (gr. IIIT). Raja's Delight and Sheesham were both grade II winners. Miss L Attack's big win came in the Merck Agvet California Cup Distaff Handicap, and Red's top score came in the California Cup Sprint Handicap.
Finley preferred buying horses rather than breeding them. "In buying yearlings, you see what they look like. If you breed them, you have to take what you get," he said.
As partial as he was to buying horses, Finley did breed two stakes winners: Little Tatum and City Hall, both of whom he raced.
Raised in southern Arizona, Finley was awarded the University of Arizona Intercollegiate Award for Best All-Around Cowboy. He rodeoed part time professionally for 30 years and retired from farming in 1994.
Finley, who served in the Army Air Corps, is survived by his wife, Jo Ann, as well as a son, John, and daughter Joan. Donations may be made to the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund, P.O. Box 18470, Encino, Calif., 91416.